It's JULY. Wow! How many of you are doing Camp NaNo? With my kids home from school, summer is a terrible time for me to get much writing done, but I know it's ideal for those of you who are in school.
Today's panel question is:
If you could give your new-writer-self one piece of advice, what would you say?
Give yourself permission to write terrible first drafts and stop trying to be perfect all the time. You waste so much time rewriting those first couple chapters, but until you get to the end of the book, you don’t really know how the book should start. And you’re never going to get to the end if you keep rewriting chapter one! So take off all the pressure, adopt the NaNoWriMo process of writing fast drafts, and have fun.
There’s never that one final hurdle and then you arrive. For most writers, it’s cyclical. You have a book, you push, you have success (or not), and you start again. This is not an industry for those who cannot handle being uncomfortable. Authors are almost always off-kilter, fighting to keep writing through the ups and downs of life. This is a job for those who simply must tell stories.
You have to decide what success as a writer looks like to you, because if you let the industry tell you what it is, you’ll never feel content. There’s always another rung you can reach for, another author who is “ahead” of you, or another step you can take to further your career. While your goals will change and evolve over the years, it’s important that you know what kind of writer you want to be (how much you want to work, what you want to write, etc.) because looking to others to set those boundaries for you leads to unhappiness.